Kubaba is a new peer reviewed open access journal specializing in the Pre-Classical world of the Ancient Near East and Eastern Mediterranean. The Portuguese Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas – Universidade Nova de Lisboa publishes Kubaba. They accept papers in Portuguese, English, Spanish, Italian, and French.
Here’s the table of contents for their first edition:
Editorial announcement, 1
- Honor guest – H. Craig Melchert: Remarks on the Kuttamuwa Stele, 3-11
- João Pedro Vieira: A fertilidade como eixo do divino em Ugarit. O caso de Ba’lu, 12-19
- Joost Kramer: The symbolic meaning of the scene of Nut, Geb, and Shu, 20-37
- Brent Davis: Introduction to the Aegean pre-alphabetic scripts, 38-61
- Elias Pinheiro: Rituals of War. The Body and Violence in Mesopotamia – Zainab Bahrani, 63-70
To me, Melchert’s guest paper on the body/soul dualism found in the Kuttamuwa Unscription is the most significant. It is a reminder that we cannot wear disciplinary blinders when we consider ancient texts. Against claims, mostly in popular reports, that the Kuttamuwa Inscription, “provides the first written evidence in the region that people believed the soul was separate from the body,” Melchert, 5-6, writes,
For those familiar with the belief system of Hittite and Luvian speakers it is not remotely startling or sensational that a man with the good Luvian name of Kuttamuwa from one of the “Neo-Hittite” states in an area formerly controlled by the Hittite Empire expresses a belief in the continued existence of the soul apart from the body. It would on the contrary be surprising if he did not.
And then he proceeds to pile up evidence for belief in a soul separate from the body starting with mid second millennium Hittite and Luvian material.
While I admit I haven’t worked my way through it, Portuguese is a bit of a barrier for me, it is good do see that João Pedro Vieira cites Loren Fisher’s 1965 paper, “Creation at Ugarit and in the Old Testament,” Vetus Testamentum 15.3, 313-324.